Vol. IX No. 3 - Tuesday
January 19 - January 25, 2010



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

First Super Champion football league to kick off in Chiang Mai

TAT appoints Ryo Ishikawa as “Golf Ambassador of Thailand”

Federer, Serena Williams top lists of Open seeds

Armstrong wants to compete in Hawaii Ironman

First Super Champion football league to kick off in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Governor Amonphan Nimanant (seated center), together with Chiang Mai Sports Association President Udornphan Jantarawiroth (seated right) and Wimol Kanjana, the organizing committee chairman of the Super Champion tournament (seated left), announce the football competition to the public at a press conference held at the 700 Year Stadium in Chiang Mai, Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Nopniwat Krailerk
An inter province football tournament will kick off on January 23 at the 700 Year Stadium in Chiang Mai, featuring twelve teams from around Thailand. The competition will be separated into two groups for the qualifying segment, with both Chiang Mai and Phitsanulok hosting the matches.
Group A, being staged here in Chaing Mai, will see teams from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Satun and Samut Prakan compete for a chance to play in the final. The second group, which will be played at the Phitsanulok Sports Stadium, features representative sides from Phitsanulok, Phichit, Kasem Bundit University, Loei, Narathiwat and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
Within each group, there will be separate sub-divisions of three teams each playing in a round-robin format with the top two progressing to the second round and a chance to win through to the final. All the fixtures will be played over 2 legs.
At a press conference held at the 700 Year Stadium in Chiang Mai on Jan. 6, the tournament organizers announced that a top prize of 200,000 baht plus a trophy would be presented to the winning team, with the runners-up picking up 100,000 baht.
The first matches will kick off on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 4.30 p.m. with a game between Chiang Rai and Saraburi at the 700 Year Stadium in Chiang Mai, while a second match featuring Loei against Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya will take place concurrently at the Phitsanulok Sports Stadium.
The final is scheduled to take place over 2 days with the first leg kicking off at 4 p.m. on Jan. 30 in Chiang Mai and the return leg being played the following afternoon in Phitsanulok.


TAT appoints Ryo Ishikawa as “Golf Ambassador of Thailand”

Following on from the exciting conclusion of the Royal Trophy last week between Europe and Asia, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that Ryo Ishikawa, the young Japanese player who is one of the rising stars of world golf, has accepted an invitation to become the “Golf Ambassador of Thailand.”

Ryo Ishikawa of Japan tees off from the 3rd hole during the Royal Trophy against Europe, at the Amata Spring Country Club course in Chonburi, Friday Jan. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Ishikawa, known as the “Bashful Prince” in his home country, will help promote Thailand as a tourist destination with a focus on promoting golf tourism to Japanese visitors.
The 18-year-old, who won the money list on the Japan Golf Tour last year, has signed a one-year contract with TAT.
“His reputation and image should help boost tourism,” said TAT deputy governor Surapol Svetaserni at the press conference held Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, scene of this year’s Royal Trophy tournament.
Ishikawa won four times in Japan last year to become the youngest player to win a money list on a tour recognized by the world ranking. The Japanese teen, who is currently ranked 30th in the world, was also picked for the Presidents Cup team, winning three of his five matches. (TAT Press Release)


Federer, Serena Williams top lists of Open seeds

Serena Williams and Roger Federer are once again
the players to beat at this year’s Australian Open. (AP Photos)

John Pye
Melbourne (AP) - No. 1-ranked Roger Federer and Serena Williams top the lists of seeded players for this week’s Australian Open.
Serena Williams has won the Australian title each odd-numbered year since 2003, beating No. 2 Dinara Safina in straight sets in last year’s final.

Safina is seeded second this year, followed by French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, Olympic champion Elena Dementieva and Venus Williams.
Organizers resisted giving former No. 1-ranked Justine Henin a seeding for her first Grand Slam event back from retirement.
The 27-year-old Henin, who won seven singles majors before quitting in May 2008 while holding the No. 1 ranking, made her tour comeback just two weeks ago at the Brisbane International, where she lost in the final to fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters.
Clijsters, who won the U.S. Open in September in only her third tournament back from more than two years in retirement, is seeded 15th for the Australian Open.
No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who beat Federer in the final here last year, is seeded second, followed by 2008 Australian champion Novak Djokovic, U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro and No. 5 Andy Murray.
Federer won the Australian Open in 2004, 2006 and 2007, losing to the eventual champion in ’05, ’08 and last year.
After losing to Nadal last year, Federer recovered to win the French Open and Wimbledon, increasing his career tally to 15 Grand Slam singles titles, beating Pete Sampras’ record of 14.
He completed a career Grand Slam of winning all four majors by winning the French for the first time. He lost the U.S. Open final to del Potro, ending a streak of five straight titles at New York.


Armstrong wants to compete in Hawaii Ironman

Adelaide (AP) — Not satisfied with his remarkable comeback to top-level cycling, Lance Armstrong has set himself a new challenge by saying he intends to compete in the Hawaii Ironman.
The 38-year-old Armstrong was targeting the 2011 or 2012 event in Kona, Hawaii, depending upon whether this year or next will be his final Tour de France.
“I will be in Kona 15 months after the final Tour,” Armstrong told Australian Associated Press on Friday. “If it’s 2010, then it will be Kona 2011. If it’s 2011, it will be Kona 2012.
“I’m not saying that with any expectation, it will require months and months of getting back into swimming and running. But I want to just do it, just for fun.”
Armstrong said he started out competing in triathlons and “I’ve always looked up to those guys.”
The Texan is in Australia preparing for the Tour Down Under race to kick-start a year in which he is aiming for an eighth Tour de France title — this time with Team Radio Shack which he co-owns.
A swimmer as a child and promising national-level triathlete in his late teens, Armstrong has also run in marathons, so has the background to be competitive in Hawaii — an Ironman event consisting of a 3.9-kilometer (2.4-mile) swim, 180-kilometer (112-mile) bike leg and 42-kilometer (26-mile) marathon.
“I don’t know I could be top three, top five or top 10, but anyway, I want to come and finish,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong was at the famous 1989 Hawaii Ironman when Americans Mark Allen and Dave Scott staged a head-to-head duel throughout the race, with Allen winning by less than a minute to claim the first of six titles.
Allen and Scott, along with fellow Americans Scott Molina and Scott Tinley, formed a Big Four that dominated Ironman in the 1980s and early 1990s before growing international participation.
“I grew up following and admiring the Big Four, I was here in 1989 when Dave Scott and Mark Allen duked it out until mile 25 and a half (of the marathon),” Armstrong said.
“I was in the follow car, I watched the whole thing — it was unbelievable.”



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